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Akron General will lay off 132 employees

6:59 PM, Feb 8, 2013   |    comments
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AKRON -- On Friday, about 132 employees at Akron General Medical Center were notified of impending layoffs.

A hospital spokesperson says the layoffs are due to restructuring. 

Other hospitals have made similar moves in anticipation of upcoming changes to health care laws.

Akron General says 132 employees will be affected.

It did release a statement Friday evening:

"Akron General Health System today announced a staffing realignment that results in a reduction of 132 employees. Those affected represent 2.5 percent of the Akron General Health System workforce of more than 5,200 employees and are spread across varied groups, including management and non-management, union and non-union jobs. Very few of the affected jobs are in direct patient care. In addition, some 50 vacant positions will not be filled."

"These moves combined will save the Health System approximately $12 million. Like many health systems across the country, Akron General Health System is undergoing a transformation. As a system, Akron General did not meet budget targets in 2012, primarily due to the drop in patient volume, negative payor mix trends and changes in governmental payment and regulations. Consequently, Akron General is taking steps to effectively balance its resources with staffing levels appropriate to its volumes. The end result will be a more efficient, streamlined organization that will position Akron General to deal more effectively with the challenges of national health care reform, as well as other ongoing economic issues."

"Akron General is being proactive in anticipating how to respond to patient volume changes while maintaining quality of care and strengthening the long-term financial health of the organization. "Akron General is committed to providing cost-effective, high-quality services to the people and communities we serve," said Thomas L. "Tim" Stover, MD, MBA, President and CEO of Akron General Health System. "The external pressures being placed on us - and really all hospitals across the country - are extraordinary." "This was an incredibly difficult decision, because it impacts our dedicated employees," added Stover. "We are working with each employee to ease the transition as much as we can." Stover said that the health system cut millions from its budget through its "Be Lean" initiatives in 2012."

"Benefits have been cut among management, jobs have been consolidated, and payor and vendor contracts were re-negotiated last year. With the extraordinarily difficult economic conditions, however, those efforts simply were not enough. "I assure you that before we discussed staff reductions we examined every option very carefully," said Stover."

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